Terry Collins said the other day that “fun time ” is over. I hate to disagree with the manager of the defending National League champions, but I’d say fun time is just getting started.
Collins was referring to the Yoenis Cespedes Off-Hours Charismatic Carnival, which, to be fair, was loads of fun. More fun than:
• a barrel of profiles of longshot candidates to be the last man out of the bullpen;
• endless speculation over how many games the stoic, stenosisic Captain might play;
• another round of thoughts from Neil Walker regarding how different New York might be from Pittsburgh;
• and whatever else would have filled our field of vision once the adrenaline rush of confirming New York Mets baseball players were going about their business in Port St. Lucie, Florida, inevitably wore off.
Yoenis made the deadliest week on the baseball calendar come alive (save for a pig who used to be alive). There were the sweet, sweet rides  that gave conspicuous consumption a good name. There was the equine entrance  that proved Noah Syndergaard makes for a more comfortable sidekick than Chris Christie. There was that bit Carnac came back to deliver with Ed McMahon.
“Trains and boats and planes.”
“Trains and boats and planes.”
“Name the only three ways Yoenis Cespedes hasn’t come to camp in the last week.”
Hi Yo, indeed. He was an international man of mystery behind the wheel. He was a rootin’, tootin’ sight up on his high horse. He was a Western-style presence when he went whole hog.  Oh, the butcher and the baker and the people on the streets — where did they go?
Well, we know the butcher went to meet Yoenis’s not-so-little piggy , who cost our Most Visible Player seven-grand, or what probably accumulates on the many passenger seats of the Yoenis fleet. At that rate, I was hoping Piggy would trot out alongside Ces before the Home Opener, wearing a matching No. 52 and four or five neon-green sleeves (including one for the tail). Instead, he’s slated to be the guest of honor at a future roast. Somewhere Foster Brooks is clearing his throat and, perhaps, his glass.
Will the pig become links by breakfast tomorrow? Will the player be on the links by nightfall? (He likes to golf , you know.) These were the questions that preoccupied us when there was nothing else to think about. The word spread of Yoenis the Kid, and for that we were grateful. Now it’s vaya con dios vaquero, hello five-tool superstar. You and your pals can go commit some baseball now.
Real Fun Time 1.0 commenced at 1:05 Thursday afternoon, and it will be in effect until the required system upgrade kicks in on April 3. The New York Mets were on the air on WOR, featuring some guys we’ve all heard of, some other guys we’ll hardly hear of again. The first voice of spring we actually needed to hear from was Josh Lewin’s. He welcomed us to baseball, choosing to channel word of Terry’s down-to-business declaration through Richard Jenkins’s exasperated Dr. Robert Doback in Step Brothers, because that’s how Josh rolls. “Rumpus time,” Lewin aptly quoted, “is over.”
Last week, there was so much room for activities. From this week forward, there’s only one activity worth our attention. Play ball.